While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
Making the less-traditional transition from brick-and-mortar to mobile pop-up, A16 is finally offering its hearty Monday meatballs and signature wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas without the inconvenience of needing to book a table.
Dorothea Lange is perhaps most famous for a single photograph she took in 1936. In it a mother turns her weary gaze away from the camera, while two of her children bury their faces against her shoulders. In one fell swoop, Lange put a human face on the plight of migrant farmworkers in California at the time and gave us an image that still resonates in today's difficult economy. Lange took that picture on assignment for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), President Roosevelt's innovative agency that sought to create jobs during the Great Depression and funded new bridges and murals alike. Playwrights had their own WPA division with the Federal Theatre Project (FTP), and notable participants included Orson Welles and Arthur Miller. The contributions of female FTP writers in particular are commemorated in the contemporary one-act play Mixed Relief, performed tonight as a staged reading by members of the arts union Actors' Equity Association. Focusing on Anzia Yezierska, Eudora Welty, and Dorothy West, Mixed Relief brings their work together with that of three women who are present-day stage professionals. All proceeds go to the Actors Fund, an organization that jumps in when actors (who as a group often find themselves firmly amongst the 99 percent) need a wee bit of help. The performance is also part of our local LaborFest, celebrating union history and revolutionary artists with a theme this year of "Occupy Past, Present & Future." We think Dorothea Lange would approve.
Mon., July 23, 7:30 p.m., 2012